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on February 21, 2001
THIS BOOK APPEARED TO BE WRITTEN IN THE EARLY 1900'S. THE ILLUSTRATIONS WERE SMALL, OR POOR QUALITY, AND IN BLACK AND WHITE. NOT A SINGLE COLOR PHOTO! COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS ON SOIL PREPARATION, I.E.LEVELING THE SOIL ETC. VERY LITTLE ON ANUALS, COLOR, BALANCE, OR ANYTHING ESTHEITCALLY PLEASING. THIS BOOK WAS A CHORE TO LOOK THROUGH.
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on October 24, 2002
I returned this book because it was full of advice about how to plant and maintain plants that are not native to the desert: bermuda grass, citrus, grapes, tomatoes, mums...
Almost nothing about the native plants of the desert Southwest. I would not recommend it.
0Comment39 of 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 2, 2000
A man of the soil. Brookbank has turned this lowly phrase into a high compliment. If any gardener takes these words too lightly without digging deep into the properties of the soil, let him/her beware. For atonement let him be given the task of counting the millions of microbes in a mere handful. With such detailed knowledge of the chemistry of plant life Brookbank is a desert gardening guru......Advice on what to plant, how to make a soil probe, and exactly how to install an irrigation system, is clearly presented. There are wonderful illustrations throughout the book. Are you sure you know how and when to use fertilizer? Read how plants extract nutrients from the soil-- these are valuable words that must be read with close attention for a real understanding of what's going on below visible plant life. You will stop thinking of soil as mere dirt.....A hard lesson for many gardeners to learn: don't fight nature. The advice on "What to Do When Things Go Wrong" will solve many problems. Recognize your poor gardening decisions. "Had you done the right thing," Brookbank says, "there wouldn't be any problem.".....Read on and learn: establishing year round color, caring for hedges, lawns, roses, palm trees, wildflowers, cacti, and how to dig up plants and move them. Vital to know re cacti. Everything is here and every gardener, novice or expert, will benefit.....I'll be leaving Atlanta and moving to Tucson this Fall so the chapter "When You Move into and Empty House" gave me good advice. The key is to take your time, look around and make notes as you observe. "Don't prune yet and don't remove the plants that irritate you." This comment really got to me. The man understands that some plants are just un-standable. One man's marigold is another man's poison ivy!.....Brookbank closes with a very useful monthly reminder list of what chores need your attention now. Take Novemeber: "Chart garden tempera- tures in various areas so you know how to act when a frost warning is issued. With a chart of your grounds you can see whether you are colder or warmer than the weatherman's predic- tions. A few degrees do make a big difference." Landscaping is a never-ending learning process. To be a man or woman of the soil is an honorable achievement. --by Nellie Nichols madytodd@mindspring.com
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on May 24, 2009
I have lived in and around Phoenix for over 20 years. I have read countless books on Southwest landscaping and learned nearly nothing. My method was trial and tons of errors. This book was given to me and has answered all of my questions. I now live in the rural desert south of Casa Grande and almost every thing I planted died. Mr. Brookbank's book told me why and how to fix it.

This book is a must for anyone who lives in the raw desert!
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on December 16, 2013
Wonderful book, showing how to landscape in arid and semi-arid areas. We recently moved to the California desert and purchased a new house. We are very conscious of water conservation and decided to go with a desert scaped yard. This book was a great source of inspiration and an even better refernce book. Our sandy yard is starting to look like it's been professionally landscaped, and we'll be referring to this book many times in the future as the seasons change.
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on January 8, 2016
Older approach to landscape maintenance since it's publication in 1992 a lot has changed in the irrigation world. Going from enough water to drought wasn't addressed.
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on August 22, 2013
It's actually a bit overwhelming with all the detailed information about landscaping in the southwest. We don't live in that part of the country yet, but when the time comes, I can't wait to refer to this terrific book!
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on November 25, 2012
great ideas and good reading with how it should be done, wish the pictures were in color, can't get good idea in black and white
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on August 2, 2011
I have lived on high desert Tularosa Basin for almost six years with initial grass planted by builder / developer who also installed underground irrigation system. Overly hot, dry climate led to select grass seed planting during two or three subsequent years.But the amount of time, work and money has resulted in poor grass , unsightly, and with numerous bald spots.

So it was with the reminder that trying to grow grass in a desert may not be productive that I would take a modest investment in trying a different approach.

Will this be more satisfying?

Ed Walsh
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on December 6, 2013
Good product. Worth the price. If you think this might be what you're looking for today, give it a try.
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